In his first week in the majors, Nick Maton made three starts at shortstop and three at second base because of injuries to Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura, respectively.
But what about when the middle-infield duo is reunited?
“I’ll play anywhere where Joe tells me to play,” Maton said last week, referring to manager Girardi. “Just put me in the lineup. I’ll be there.
How about center field?
“I’ve got a lot of gloves,” Maton said, laughing.
It isn’t completely crazy.
Maton didn’t play the outfield in 286 games in the minors. But then he played only 21 games above high-A ball, too. And he did begin taking fly balls in spring training and at the Lehigh Valley alternate training site.
If Maton continues to hit -- he went 2-for-3 in Sunday’s 12-2 loss in Colorado but has 11 hits, the most by a Phillies player through his first six games since Richie Ashburn had 11 in 1948 -- Girardi will find at-bats for him somewhere. Given the anemic offense in center field, that position could be a consideration.
Regardless, Maton is impressing his veteran teammates with his poise and confidence.
“Definitely not afraid. Doesn’t lack confidence,” first baseman Rhys Hoskins said. “Kid can hit. A lot of us have been pretty impressed about the way that he’s handled himself on defense, as well. He’s a talkative guy, but he’s a sponge, man. He’s always asking questions and trying to get better, and he’s had some success early. It’s nice to see that for a young kid.”
Said ace pitcher Aaron Nola: “He’s a good player, man. He’s scrappy. He’s all over the place. Made some really good plays so far. Brings good energy. He’s going to be a good player.”
Frustration for Didi, Bohm
Two moments that captured the Phillies’ frustration Sunday:
In the second inning, shortstop Didi Gregorius grabbed his cap after he was unable to handle a grounder hit right at him. It was his fifth error in 17 starts this season.
Third baseman Alec Bohm stomped around at the plate after a called strike on the first pitch of the ninth inning. Bohm has four hits in his last 24 at-bats. He has started all 21 games and could be in line for a day off.
“It’s something that we can talk about,” Girardi said. “He doesn’t seem to have his timing right. He’s seemed to drive in runs when he’s had opportunities to do that, which is always important. But he’s scuffled a little bit.”
Leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts to drop his average to .154. He also couldn’t cut off a ball in left field that went for a triple for Dom Nunez in the fifth inning. ... Bryce Harper’s second home run of the game traveled 468 feet, according to Statcast. It was the third-longest homer hit by any player so far this season. ... Left-hander Bailey Falter made his major league debut in relief. After pitching a scoreless seventh inning, he allowed a two-run homer to C.J. Cron in the eighth. ... The Phillies haven’t won a series in Colorado since 2012. ... Reliever José Alvarado and starter Matt Moore are expected to rejoin the team Monday in St. Louis. Both have been on the COVID list for the past week. ... Zack Wheeler is scheduled to face longtime Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright in the series opener Monday night.